On Friday, July 5, Alaska's Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell certified the application for a 2014 ballot initiative to legalize cannabis in the state of Alaska, and proponents of the initiative are well on their way to acquiring the signatures needed to get the initiative on the ballot.
For the supporters to succeed they are required to get 30,169 signatures from 30 of the state's 40 districts. They are off to a good start -- reporting this past Saturday they are collecting roughly 300 signatures a day. At this pace, there should be plenty of time to acquire all the signatures needed by the the start of the next legislative session on January 15th.
The ballot measure will protect citizens of Alaska from fear of arrest and prosecution by the state for up to one ounce of cannabis and six plants (3 immature, 3 mature). Many key points are covered, with plenty of important definitions regarding the roles of folks in the cannabis industry under the new law. Also noteworthy is the fact that the legislature will be empowered to create an Alaskan Marijuana Control Board, while general rulemaking responsibilities could fall on the Alcohol Control Board, similarly to what is happening in Washington state.
In May, John Walsh from Just Say Now commented on why Alaska has a good chance of legalizing cannabis, citing the state's libertarian base, young electorate, and that a similar initiative in 2004 came very close to passing. All this suggests Alaska will be an optimal state for the reform of marijuana laws.